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Help me pick our next car....
Old 06-01-2017, 06:41 PM   #1
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Help me pick our next car....

Here are the criteria:

DH wants something up off the ground - so SUV or crossover. He'd prefer to get a land yacht like a giant SUV...

I want something with decent mileage - preferably at least 25mpg.

My husband is tall - 6'4" so some cars are just too small.
My kids are tall - so back seat leg room is important. Older son is currently 6'3" and still growing. Younger son is 6' at age 14... so lots of growth ahead of him, too.

Now the toughest part. I want a stick shift. Those seem to be unavailable in most of the cars that I've been looking at...

So far I'm looking at Honda CRV, Ford Escape, and whatever the Mazda small SUV is.

Any insights?

Do I just need to give up the idea of stick shift? - even though I really prefer it AND want to teach my kids to drive stick.
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80% of cars will be Electric in 10 years
Old 06-01-2017, 06:53 PM   #2
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80% of cars will be Electric in 10 years

Get a Tesla.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:04 PM   #3
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I didn't realize there were so many choices left with manual transmissions - Honda, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Fiat, Nissan. It would be between the CRV, RAV4 or a Subaru Outback or Forester for me, but my own personal biases.

Manual Transmission SUVs - iSeeCars.com

You may have to order a manual transmission and resale won't be good, but if you intend to keep it for a long, long time, I wouldn't hesitate if that's what you really want.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:05 PM   #4
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Giant SUV's with 25 mpg? All SUV's have to be very structurally sound, and they're all relatively heavy. My Ford Explorer weighs 4500 lbs. and can sometimes get 25 mpg on the open highway.

Giant SUV--Ford Expedition is as good as they come right now with 3.5 EcoBoost engine. You might get 22 mpg with one on the open road.
Medium SUV--Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Buick Enclave or Lexus RX350.

That's about all there is with a "growing" family.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:07 PM   #5
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I don't know that small SUV is compatible with the extra leg room your DH and DSes require. You will have to fit the car around them. At 5'6" I have average length legs and the small SUVs don't give me much room in the front seats, never mind the back seats.

DS has a Volvo SUV and it feels very small, but also has a Yukon that more than makes up for the Volvo.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:13 PM   #6
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I've driven a stick most of my live. Gave it up for a CVT that gets better mileage. I went with a Subaru Outback. 33 mpg highway AWD using the 2.5 liter engine. Before the CVT I could easily get better mileage with a stick. I think the cvt will also be lower maintenance.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:22 PM   #7
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I adore my mazda, but drove a subaru outback on vacation in Montana and loved it, and am considering that for next vehicle. My DH is also tall, and found it had plenty of headroom. The AWD was FUN and it got great gas mileage.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:27 PM   #8
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Mercedes GLA 250 Such a fun car. My first Mercedes...I've always had Toyotas.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:32 PM   #9
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We were looking for a mid-sized SUV and it ultimately got down to the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Outback.... our local Subaru dealer was more willing to deal than the Honda dealer so we went with the Outback. No regrets at all... it has been a great car for us. We get over 29 mpg in combined driving. Great value for the money. But no manual transmission... only the CVT.... which is why the mileage is so good given the size of the car.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:37 PM   #10
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As big as your family is - I'd second Bamaman's recommendation for a Ford Expedition

Or get a Ford F-150 Supercrew truck

But you may have to give up the idea of a stick shift.

And the CRV and Escape - not big enough - may be big enough for the driver, but I would feel sorry for whoever got stuck in the back seat.

I had a family about your size looking at my Jeep Grand Cherokee when I had it for sale. Very tight squeeze. And they didn't buy it.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:23 PM   #11
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I really like our CRV but it's an old one with relatively tall ceiling giving LOTS of head room. Not sure the newer models are still so forgiving of tall folks. I didn't realize they were available with standard transmission. I miss rowing a 5 speed, but in city traffic, an auto is a lot easier. These days, there are few downsides to auto trans with the possible exception of driving in ice. Some auto trans will allow you to use a higher gear which lowers the torque and prevents uncontrolled wheel spin. Not so much of a problem to me anymore, but that's something I always looked for on the mainland. YMMV
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:28 PM   #12
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I wouldn't get a manual transmission in anything other than a "fun" car.

And they only have 2 seats.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:28 PM   #13
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I do not have one but I believe the Toyota Highlander Hybrid might work.

I have a 2003 Honda pilot which has been a great SUV but I prefer my BMW
M Sport 3 series...
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Old 06-02-2017, 04:23 AM   #14
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I find that Fords do not give very good gas mileage. Honda has a pretty high domestic content, which I find to be important.
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:07 AM   #15
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We purchased a Hyundai Tucson and had owned the Hyundai Santa Fe ..... I have been very pleased with the performance, room, and reliability of the Hyundai .... Our 2015 Tucson will get 30/32 MPG when we travel from Ft Myers to Osage Beach, MO...... In town we are getting 27 to 29........
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:09 AM   #16
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Our neighbor just got a Toyota Highlander, it may fit the bill.
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:10 AM   #17
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I have a 2017 Ford Expedition Platinum and there is not much leg room in the second row of seats. My 2010 Ford F150 Platinum had a lot of room in the back seat. I have a friend that's 6'10" and he fit in the back of the F150 with no problem. Now he sits in the front seat of the Expedition and there's not much room behind him for the second row of seats. One of my girlfriends is heavy and she said the front seats of the Expedition were narrower than the F150. Gas mileage for the F150 was only about 11 or 12 mpg city driving and the Expedition gets about 13 mpg city.
Why stick? Don't you live in the city with a lot of stop and go traffic? Your children will probably never need to know how to drive stick so it's not worth "special ordering" a manual transmission. There are some people that never quite pick up how to drive stick. Wouldn't want to teach someone to drive stick on a new vehicle.
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:34 AM   #18
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OP: Have you considered a minivan? When I was a teenager(mid 90's) we had a minivan. My Dad was 6'4.5", my brother and I were that tall or taller and fit fine in the back seat. I can't think of any small SUV or other non-hybrid that would get both 25+ MPG AND fit 3 people who are well over 6'. Very unlikely you will get a stick in any vehicle that will fit your family.
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:04 AM   #19
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I can't speak to transmission - my only manual was over 40 years ago in England - but the Nissan Murano was the most comfortable, roomy car I've ever owned. Plenty of leg room.
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieB View Post
I wouldn't get a manual transmission in anything other than a "fun" car.

And they only have 2 seats.
X2
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